Sunday, September 26, 2010

New Ideas for Retaining China Employees

As China growth rates rise, employers find that retention is falling like before 2009.

Compensation packages are heading up again. Clients have sticker shock from current salary levels in Asia especially for senior level leaders. Employers are finding that packages here are higher than for executives managing similar or larger businesses in other parts of the world.

Paying high salaries may not be enough in this hot market. Human Resource Professionals are getting creative about how to hang on to their employees. Two tools they are talking about are Retention Saving Plans and Onboarding Programs:
  • Companies in highly competitive industries like Pharma and High Tech are looking at long term incentives like Retention Savings Plans as tools in the war for talent. The plans are used as ways to retain key talent like your senior managers or R & D team. In one instance, the key employees contribute up to 10% of their monthly salaries into a savings fund. The employer matches the employee's contribution at an equal or greater level. Employee contributions vest over time from 50% vesting after 5 years to 100% after 10 years. The employee may withdraw a portion of the vested balance once per year but forfeits any unvested amounts if he/she leaves the company. There is some debate about whether this kind of fund really works well as a retention tool. Equally important are intangible elements like the culture and brand of the company and career opportunity and advancement.
  • Onboarding used to be known as new employee orientation. But these days it’s more about retaining talent than getting people settled in their new office. It may last over weeks or months, not just the first day. It may include training trips to the headquarters country.
These days onboarding may include giving employees opportunities to get to know their colleagues and detailed briefings on the company’s Performance Management Program. These are two ways employers reduce frustration and increase retention. By quickly getting to know new coworkers, the new employee can start to make friends and build the relationships and networks they need to get things done. And when you introduce the employee to his/her individual goals and objectives and set clear expectations, the employee will have a clearer picture of what it takes to be successful in the new job.

Salary Benchmarking: China Government Affairs

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